Touching Air in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, April 16, 2008

I dragged myself in at 4 a.m. from dancing at a nearby bar called The House. I seem to be reliving my twenties – what a hoot! Nobody at this hostel has a clue how old I am. I am a narc in a Billabong bikini.

I had two things planned, one was to hang glide, the other was to rent a bicycle and ride down Ipanema boardwalk.  Considering my lack of sleep and repugnant hangover, I’m happy to announce both got accomplished lickety split.

Fun before hang gliding hell

Hang gliding was an impulsive move. I have a healthy fear of  heights and wanted to face this fear head on. Isn’t hang gliding a stupendous idea then? Rio is similar to Vancouver in landscape, both cities are nestled between bays, resting in the bosom of ocean and mountains. One of these mountains is the take off point for my hang glide. The company that offers this service to backpackers is run by two fellas with over twenty years of experience between them. One of the instructors did tandem flights with The Police, Slash, and the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses. Can’t remember the name of said lead singer. Imagine Slash hang gliding in leather pants… or let’s not. Grubby, unwashed leather may suffice for rock gods, but not for this lady.

Let me set up the picture for you. The hang glide jump off point is 510 metres high off Pedro Bonita. The landing is on a beach called Praia do Pepino. Elevation is 1,700 feet. Holy sh*t is right. I was granted pick up and drop off service, so